The new and the old Morocco 
Moresque and Art Deco buildings
The Mosquée Hassan II

Find Mediterranean Cruises


An Oscar-winning city

Morocco’s biggest city and commercial capital, Casablanca (Dar el Baida in its literalArabic form) is the Maghreb’s largest port, and busier than Marseilles, on which it was modelled by the French.

Casablanca’s most obvious sight, a not to be missed stop in any Mediterranean cruises, is the Mosquée Hassan II, and it also has the only Jewish museum in the Muslim world, but the city’s true delight remains the Mauresque and Art Deco architecture built during the colonial period. When you are cruising the Mediterranean Sea with MSC Cruises Casablanca, just over Gibraltar, can be a bewildering place to arrive, but once you’re in the centre, orientation gets a little easier.

It’s focused on a large public square, Place Mohammed V, and most of the places to stay, eat, or see, are located in and around the avenues that radiate from it. A few blocks to the north, still partially walled, is the Old Medina, which was all there was of Casablanca until around1907.
Just to the west of both the port and Casablanca’s downtown area, the Old Medina dates largely from the late nineteenth century. The Medina has a slightly disreputable air but it isn’t sinister, and it can be a good source for cheap snacks and general good on an MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion. A small eighteenth-century bastion, the Skala, has been restored, with some old cannons and an upmarket café-restaurant. Raised on a rocky platform reclaimed from the ocean, the Hassan II Mosque was designed by French architect Michel Pinseau; it is open to non-Muslims on accompanied one-hour visits that also visit the mosque’s huge and elaborate basement hammam.

Must see places in Casablanca

Discover our excursions


    Traditions and tourism
    Traditions and tourism

    cruise to Morocco is ripe with immediate and enduring fascination. Though just an hour across the sea from Spain, it seems at once very far from Europe, with a culture – Islamic and deeply traditional – that is almost wholly unfamiliar.

    Throughout the country, despite the years of French and Spanish colonial rule and the presence of modern and cosmopolitan cities like Rabat and Casablanca, a more distant past constantly makes its presence felt. Fez, perhaps the most beautiful of all Arab cities, maintains a life still rooted in medieval times, when a Moroccan kingdom stretched from Senegal to northern Spain, while in the mountains of the Atlas and the Rif, it is still possible to draw up tribal maps of the Berber population.

    As a backdrop to all this, the country’s physical make-up is extraordinary: from the Mediterranean coast, which you’ll get to know during your MSC cruise to Morocco, through four mountain ranges, to the empty sand and scrub of the Sahara.

    The coast is best enjoyed in the north at Tangier, Asilah and Larache, and in the south at El Jadida, Essaouira. Inland, where the real interest of Morocco lies, the outstanding cities are Fez and Marrakesh. The great imperial capitals of the country’s various dynasties, they are almost unique in the Arab world for the chance they offer to witness city life that, in patterns and appearance, remains in large part medieval.